Ayodhya, Feb 1: The jury may be out on whether Narendra Modi will lead the NDA back to power. But, for those thronging the Ram Janmabhoomi (RJB) site at this temple town he is “the only man who will get the Ram temple constructed”.
For 19-year-old Suraj, who sells rosaries (beaded maalas) and other religious items near the barricade of the ‘isolated zone’ of the RJB, there is only one man who can get the temple built – Modi.
Ramesh Maali, who has come with his friend Ram Niyaad Pandya from Ajmer, said: “Only the Prime Minister appears serious in doing this.”
Septuagenerian Chattrapal who sells religious books like the Ramayan and Gita – came across as a disappointed soul but somewhat hopeful too.
Angry at the political class for the inordinate delay in the construction of the temple, he asked: Will the political class build the Ram temple?”
A self-professed fan of Subhas Chandra Bose, he fumed at the Congress and blamed it for the delay in temple construction.
Sumitra, who is from Pratapgarh in Uttar Pradesh and is on his twelfth visit to the RJB, said she and her family are certain that Modi would help build the temple.
Raunak Pandey, from Lucknow, on his maiden visit to the temple town with his family echoed similar sentiments. He was in class 2 when the 16th-century Babri mosque was razed in 1992. He admitted that before his visit to RJB on Thursday he had little idea of how much the issue mattered to millions of Hindus.
Ram Nath Pandey from Jaswantnagar, Etawah, who is back from Kumbh and made a stopover in Ayodhya, was, however, doubtful on the timeline of the Ram temple’s construction.
“Modi is sincere but what of the other politicians?” he asked.
Everyone was busy creating and appeasing vote banks, Pandey said as he negotiated his way through the rusted iron-grilled corridors leading to the Ram Lalla’s makeshift temple under a tent.
Fourteen-year-old Bimal Narayan Das, who is learning priesthood at the fabled Hanumangarhi temple, however, has a different take on the issue. “Not Modi, Not Rahul Gandhi…the temple will be built only when Hanumanji wills,” he says.